It's hard to know how to best support your friends when they are pregnant or first have a baby, whether you are a parent yourself and you want to offload all of your do's and don'ts or if you don't have children, and you're not sure of the protocol! Well, we surveyed our followers to better understand what people really want you to do or not do, we had over 120 people respond to each question, so you can really get a good feel for what is best!
Here are the questions we asked.
Do you mind if people touch your bump?
This is a strange one, I can't tell you how many people you know, or don't even know, feel the need to touch your bump. I am not really sure why this happens, you wouldn't normally go round having a good squeeze of the belly but, do people mind?
57%, the vast majority, 'didn't mind as long as they were asked'.
23%, however, 'always mind people touching the bump'.
So, with that in mind, unless you are really close...I would probably swerve that one!
Do you mind people commenting on the size of your bump?
Again, a weird one. Someone comments that you are small, and you worry about the baby, someone comments you are too big, and you are worried about the baby and your body! I think tread carefully on this one, as this was a VERY close call on maybe, but probably not!
40% responded with 'if they knew me well enough, I didn't mind'
38% answered 'never do it'.
You are moaning to a friend (with a baby) about feeding or the baby sleeping, how do you want them to respond?
It's really tricky as a friend and a parent, when you hear your friend struggling with something, to not offload your experience and advice. I used to be terrible at this and I have really tried to now reign it in because quite frankly, every baby and experience is different and also sometimes, people just want to vent! So, we asked our followers and this is what they said.
45% answered 'advise only if I specifically ask'
closely followed by
36% answered 'just listen to me moan'
So, be really careful when giving your best advice, quite often your friends just want to rant!
How do you feel about friends sending you unsolicited 'best advice' for the baby?
Similar to the above, if you've had a baby you have all the best tips and tricks but do your friends want them?
42% (vast majority) answered 'please don't give me advice unless I ask'.
So, keep that precious advice for the people who ask for it, you lovely lot!
How do you feel about Friends visiting in the first 2 weeks?
Those first two weeks, you're getting to know your baby, your boobs or sore, you are tired, you are a little delirious and then Sandra from next door pops around to get a good look at your new bundle...Now, those first two weeks are raw and precious, for both Mum and Dad, with many Dads only getting those first few weeks off. So should you visit, or should you wait?
63% answered 'close friends are fine'.
28% answered 'no visitors'
So, from that, I think you can take that it has to be one of your besties, and if you can, hold off unless you are asked! I had loads of messages saying never, ever, come around unannounced!
On your first visit to meet the baby, how long should you stay?
So, you are going around. What should you do and how long should you stay? From the below, we can see, keep it short and sweet! You make the tea and coffee, ask if you can do some cleaning or washing, bring some food or do something that is helpful!
65% answered 'just 45 minutes
19% answered 'only 20!'
How do you feel about people holding the baby in the early days?
While you are there, you might be desperate to have a cuddle and sometimes it's great, to give Mama and Dada a break, but it often depends on the baby and if they are really new, they are susceptible to bugs. One thing that is certain, wash your hands and do not kiss the baby! From the below, what is also certain is, make sure you ask and try and read the situation, if it's a no, there will be plenty more times!
57% answered 'if they ask, totally fine'.
19% answered 'rather people didn't'.
Do you want any comments on your postpartum body?
Sometimes, it can be tempting to tell a Mama she has snapped 'right back' or that her bump has already gone, or that her body is looking great. However, this is also a time when self-confidence can be low and also it's not a time where really many women want any aesthetic focus on their body, positive or negative, because it's just done, and is still doing, the most incredible job. So, go steady on the comments!
51% (majority) never, not even positive
Do you mind people asking if you'll have another?
Gosh, I have been asked and I have asked (close friends) this question many times. In the early days definitely not the one but also, should you ever ask it? Well, the consensus is in and it turns out, the vast majority think no!
47% answered 'I don't think anyone should ask that'.